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Pregnancy health centre

28 weeks pregnant

WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks


How is your baby growing at 28 weeks?

Congratulations – you've reached the third trimester! Your baby should be about 37.5cm from head to heel and weigh about 1kg (2.4lb) – now almost twice the size he or she was just 4 weeks ago. Body fat will now be at up to 3%, and your baby's feet may be about 5.5cm long. There may be movement of the eyeballs in the sockets, and the baby teeth should have formed under the gums. The hair on your baby's head should now be quite obvious.

You may notice that there is a cycle of when you can feel your baby moving and when he or she seems to be inactive. This is because your baby should now have his or her own pattern of sleeping and being awake. However, your baby's sleeping pattern may not be the same as your own, with your baby being active at the same time you are trying to settle down and fall asleep. At this stage, your baby may have rapid eye movement (REM) while asleep, indicating that he or she may be dreaming.

Your baby's brain will continue to develop, forming billions of neurons. Other organs such as the lungs and liver will continue to be fine-tuned. With the branches in his or her lungs now adequately developed, your baby's chances of survival outside of the womb have improved greatly – there's a 90% survival rate in babies born in week 28. However, there could still be some complications.

The formation of tiny capillaries in your womb will meet your baby's increasing need for blood, and you'll be passing on antibodies to your baby to increase his or her chances of survival outside the womb.

How are you changing in week 28?

Your waistline will continue to increase, now gaining an average 1cm every week, and your womb will be about 7cm above your belly button. With the increase in size, many pregnant women experience a number of discomforts in the third trimester that are all completely normal. However, sometimes it can be a symptom of a serious condition, so if you have any doubts, call your midwife or doctor. Read more in the weeks ahead, as some of the symptoms affect women at earlier or later stages in their pregnancy.

If you haven't had problems with indigestion earlier, when changes in hormones responsible for relaxing your muscles began – including those in your digestive system – it's possible you may do now or any time in the upcoming weeks, as your growing womb begins pressing on your stomach. Symptoms include feeling bloated, sick or nauseous, burping, heartburn and bringing up small pieces of food, especially after eating. If you have heartburn, you may feel a strong burning pain in the chest, where stomach acids pass into the oesophagus, the tube between your mouth and stomach. The valve in the oesophagus above the stomach known as a sphincter– which normally stops food going back up – is also made of muscle, so it too relaxes in pregnancy. Indigestion and heartburn are common in pregnancy from week 27 onwards.

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